US States Use Drones to Predict Rockslides, Watch Wildlife
In the western American state of Utah, drone aircraft are flying near avalanches to watch snow crashing down from mountains.
Drones are also being used in the southeastern United States. For example, in North Carolina, they are searching for endangered birds and the places they use to raise their young.
Public transportation agencies are using drones in nearly every state. That information comes the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or AASHTO.
In a report released this month, the nonprofit group found a large increase in the use of drones over the past few years. The aircraft are also called unmanned aerial vehicles.
The association's survey found that governments as well as private citizens have accepted the technology. They include individuals who love flying model aircraft.
In 2016, the group found that no state transportation agency was using drones every day. Now, 36 states employ certified drone pilots.
Jim Tymon is the executive director of the association. "You've seen the cost of drones come down significantly, and the capabilities that come along with some drones increase significantly as well," he said.
Jared Esselman is the director of aeronautics at the Utah Department of Transportation. He says that drones are valuable for all kinds of work.
"We can predict not only snow slides, but mudslides and water runoff as the snow melts," Esselman said. "Drones are a perfect tool for any job that is dangerous or dirty."
In North Carolina, drones are finding the nests of endangered species like the red-cockaded woodpecker, reports Basil Yap. He is the unmanned aerial systems program manager at the state's transportation department.
People once used helicopters or all-terrain vehicles to inspect for evidence of woodpeckers before building new projects. But the drones can do the job quicker with fewer problems, Yap said.
A number of states are beginning to explore how to create laws to control a flood of private drone traffic that is likely to come in the future. In Ohio, the state government is working on an air-traffic control system, called SkyVision, which would enable drones to recognize and avoid other aircraft in flight.
I'm John Russell.
1.crash down 向下猛冲
The avalanche had shaken and slid a little forward, but it did not yet crash down.
2.in the future 未来
We expect better of you in the future.
3.a flood of 一大批
They said goodbye in a flood of tears.
4.A number of 若干；一些
We have lived here quite a number of years.
5.In a report released this month, the nonprofit group found a large increase in the use of drones over the past few years.
over the past few years 过去几年
In your judgment, what has changed over the past few years?
Sales have quintupled over the past few years.
6."You've seen the cost of drones come down significantly, and the capabilities that come along with some drones increase significantly as well," he said.
come along with 随同
I'm so stupid. I shouldn't have come along with you.
He may come along with the other guests.
美国东南部也在使用无人机 。例如，在北卡罗来纳州，无人机正在搜寻濒危鸟类以及它们抚养幼鸟的地方 。
几乎每个州的公共交通机构都在使用无人机 。这些信息来自于美国国家公路及运输官员协会（AASHTO） 。
该组织发现，2016年还没有任何州运输机构使用无人机 。如今，有36个州雇佣了有执照的无人机操控员 。
吉姆·泰蒙（Jim Tymon）是该协会的执行董事 。他说：“无人机的使用成本显著下降，而且一些无人机的性能也显著提高 。”
杰瑞德·艾瑟曼（Jared Esselman）是犹他州交通部的航空主管 。他表示，无人机对各种行业而言都极具价值 。
艾瑟曼表示：“我们不仅可以预测雪崩，还能预测积雪融化引发的泥石流和洪水 。无人机是处理高危或脏乱工作的完美工具 。”
巴兹尔·雅普（Basil Yap）报告称，无人机正在北卡罗来纳州搜寻濒危物种的巢穴，如红啄木鸟 。他是该州交通部无人机系统项目经理 。
雅普表示，在新项目建造前，人们曾经利用直升机或全地形汽车来监测啄木鸟的迹象 。而无人机能够更快完成任务，而且问题也更少 。
许多州都开始探索如何制定法律，以控制未来可能大量出现的私人无人机飞行 。在俄亥俄州，州政府正在开发一项“SkyVision”空中交通管制系统，该系统可让无人机识别并避让其它飞行中的飞机 。